Illustration of a head with colourful cogs rising from the brain, with a dark gradient below
The University of Plymouth has launched a new toolkit to encourage and empower more disabled and neurodiverse students into a career in engineering.
The Diversity Toolkit provides tips for teaching staff to incorporate diversity into their practice and, crucially, to ensure that the students themselves feel supported to pursue a career in the sector.

View the toolkit here

The Embedding Systemic Inclusion for Neurodiverse and Disabled Engineering Students project was made possible thanks to funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Diversity Impact Programme. Read the funding announcement
Working with project partners, EqualEngineers, the University:
  • conducted focus groups with neurodivergent and disabled students to gauge their input on what a supportive environment should look like 
  • implemented guest lectures from neurodivergent role models 
  • provided mentors from industry
  • established micro-internships to give real-world experience of engineering careers
  • devised and conducted staff training.
All of the above has been incorporated into the toolkit, in addition to a series of webcasts covering topics such as confidence-building and influencing skills that can help students prepare to enter the job market and seek employment opportunities.
The project team has shared its findings at the inclusive engineering conference held at the University. 

Our School has around 21% of students in the three engineering subjects that are registered disabled and/or neurodivergent, so the project focus was to improve their experience and sense of inclusion.

The fact that our learnings have been shared and well received by other organisations is a really positive thing, as it means we can also influence the experiences of many more neurodiverse and disabled students. 
Ours was the only project funded by this round of awards to look at neurodiversity, which cuts across lots of protected characteristics, and embeds intersectionality into our thinking too. 

Asiya KhanAsiya Khan
Project lead, from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

The toolkit provides tips for the teaching staff to help understand how to incorporate diversity into their practice and help the students themselves feel empowered to pursue a career in the sector.

Tetiana BuzykinaTetiana Buzykina
Diversity Officer

We’re really proud of the work we’ve done in collaboration with students and local employers and look forward to growing and developing the toolkit by incorporating the provided feedback.

Liz HodgkinsonLiz Hodgkinson
Diversity Inclusion Officer

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Our disciplines provide a vibrant inter-disciplinary and collaborative environment dedicated towards producing graduates with the necessary applied knowledge and skills to meet demands of employers today and tomorrow.
Engineering students in Babbage Building